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Virtual Games Try To Generate Real Empathy For Faraway Conflict | James Delahoussaye | All Tech Considered | NPR.org

Virtual Games Try To Generate Real Empathy For Faraway Conflict | James Delahoussaye | All Tech Considered | NPR.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Video games are great for passing time or battling monsters with friends online. But the medium is also being used to explore complex stories and themes. It's even being used as form of journalistic storytelling, immersing people in places and events that can be hard to imagine.

In a moment, University of Southern California student Allison Begalman is transported to a sunny street corner in Aleppo, Syria.

Wearing bulky virtual reality goggles and headphones, she can see a cart selling food, cars and trucks passing by, and a group of people circled around a singing little girl.

Nonny de la Peña talks about Project Syria.

But then "all of a sudden there's like a bomb that goes off," Begalman says as she navigates her way around the virtual street. "It's completely full of dust and dirt and ... I'm sort of walking back and forth."

In this virtual world, Begalman has experienced a mortar shelling from Bashar Assad's regime. This is Project Syria, a virtual reality experience built by a team of students at USC. The bomb blast and the destruction are created with the same kind of tools used for video games, except that this is not a regular video game.

"In America, we're deeply involved in Syria, but we're very disconnected about — what is that place?" says Nonny de la Peña, head of Project Syria and a longtime journalist in print and film. "Who are the people? Why do I care? Why are we there?"

Peña says the game helps people feel a little closer to Syrians in the middle of the civil war.

"I sometimes call virtual reality an empathy generator," she says. "It's astonishing to me. People all of a sudden connect to the characters in a way that they don't when they've read about it in the newspaper or watched it on TV."


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Mom: I thought I did everything right, but my 6-year-old is already ‘behind’ in reading | Valerie Strauss | WashPost.com

Mom: I thought I did everything right, but my 6-year-old is already ‘behind’ in reading | Valerie Strauss | WashPost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

A recent post on a new report calling into question the practice of forcing young children to read to meet Common Core standards generated hundreds of responses from educators and parents. The report, written by three experts in early childhood education, said that requiring some youngsters to read before they are ready could be harmful.

There are plenty of young children who can learn to read in kindergarten or earlier. But there are also plenty who aren’t ready. Years ago students were given more time to develop literacy skills without being seen as falling behind or flat-out failures, but academic standards call for students to read in kindergarten and certainly in first grade.

The report, titled “Reading in Kindergarten: Little to Gain and Much to Lose,” says that there is no evidence to support the widespread belief that children must read in prekindergarten or kindergarten to become strong readers and achieve academic success. It also says:

Many children are not developmentally ready to read in kindergarten. In addition, the pressure of implementing the standards leads many kindergarten teachers to resort to inappropriate didactic methods combined with frequent testing. Teacher-led instruction in kindergartens has almost entirely replaced the active, play-based, experiential learning that we know children need from decades of research in cognitive and developmental psychology and neuroscience.

Here are a few comments written by readers, and after these is an e-mail from a stay at home mom of four boys that is particularly telling.


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MN: Hennepin County Geo:Code - Two upcoming open data/open gov/civic tech events | Ann Treacy | Blandin on Broadband

I’m sharing this on hope that some folks can make it and so others might get some ideas to replicate…

Hennepin County and Open Twin Cities are proud to present Geo:Code; an open data code-a-thon hosted at Hennepin County Library – Minneapolis Central on Saturday, February 21st and Sunday February 22nd! This event is free and meals will be provided.

  • Share Project Ideas and Open Data Requests
  • RSVP for Geo:Code Code-a-thon
  • RSVP for January 31st Geo:Code Accessibility Jam


Transparency & Accessibility

Hennepin County is celebrating the first year of its Open GIS policy by taking part in International Open Data Day and Code for America’s CodeAcross. Residents are invited to explore government data, experiment with civic technologies, and collaborate with Hennepin County on solutions for problems facing your community. Inspired by civic technology principals, we’re excited to support the creation of a more transparent Hennepin County and information and services that are accessible to all residents.


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The Disneyland measles outbreak and the disgraced doctor who whipped up vaccination fear | Terrence McCoy | WashPost.com

The Disneyland measles outbreak and the disgraced doctor who whipped up vaccination fear | Terrence McCoy | WashPost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Just before 7 p.m. last Thursday, as the Disneyland measles outbreak was emerging, the Los Angeles Times published an outraged editorial. It didn’t blame Disneyland, where the outbreak originated before going on to infect 70 people across six states. Nor did it blame any public agency. Instead, it took aim at a buoyant movement that won’t “get over its ignorant and self-absorbed rejection of science.”

The faction was the anti-vaccine movement — its holy text a retracted medical study, its high priest a disgraced British doctor named Andrew Wakefield. “The prospect of a new measles epidemic is disturbing,” the editorial said. “So is the knowledge that many ill-informed people accept a thoroughly discredited and retracted study in the journal Lancet that purported to associate vaccination with autism.”

Officials from Mexico to California are now scrambling to contain an outbreak that began at Disneyland but has now spilled across state lines, infecting dozens, many of whom never received the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine (MMR).


If the outbreak proves anything, it’s Wakefield’s enduring legacy. Even years after he lost his medical license, years after he was shown to have committed numerous ethical violations, and years after the retraction of a medical paper that alleged a vaccine-autism link, his message resonates. Facebook is populated by pages like “Dr. Wakefield’s Work Must Continue.” There’s the Web site called “We Support Andrew Wakefield,” which peddles the Wakefieldian doctrine. And thousands sign petitions pledging support.


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Five Minute Film Festival: Video Boot Camp | Bill Selak Blog | Edutopia.org

Five Minute Film Festival: Video Boot Camp | Bill Selak Blog | Edutopia.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The rapid adoption of devices in the classroom has fundamentally changed the way we can create video. Every part of the creation process -- writing, recording, editing, and distributing -- is possible on the devices that can fit in our pocket. Vision is the most dominant of the five senses. Research shows that concepts are better remembered if they are taught visually. This is called the pictorial superiority effect, and it’s why video is such a powerful learning tool.

A video is created three times: when you write it, when you shoot it, and when you edit it. There are several formats that can be used to write a script for the classroom: a Google Doc, a dedicated app (ex: Storyboards), a Google Form, or a production organization document. Whichever format is used, emphasis should be placed on how it will be used in the classroom, and what the goal of the video is. When recording, it is important to incorporate basic rules of composition, such as the rule of thirds, into your video. Being aware of the environment (basic concepts like lighting and room tone) makes it easier to edit.

Curating content is another significant way to incorporate video into your classroom. If you don’t have the time or software to make a fancy video, odds are someone has already made it and shared it on YouTube. This Film Festival is equal parts curation and creation.


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Students & Teachers Explain Benefits of MinecraftEDU | Wesley Fryer | Speed of Creativity

Students & Teachers Explain Benefits of MinecraftEDU | Wesley Fryer | Speed of Creativity | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Thanks to this post last week by Joel Soloman (@mole555) in the “Minecraft Teachers Google Group” I saw this excellent 7.5 minute video featuring interviews with both students and teachers, explaining the benefits of using MinecraftEDU in school. Check it out!


This week I am introducing my STEM students to MinecraftEDU in a two part lesson, so this is timely. I’ve added it to my main MinecraftEDU STEM curriculum resource page.


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Julia Hoffman's curator insight, January 25, 10:32 PM

What student wouldn't want to interact with Minecraft??? This is a program I hear so much about from my students. This edu version uses the Minecraft premise and adapts it into curriculum/social objectives. It's a win-win!

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35 maps that explain how America is a nation of immigrants | Dara Lind | Vox.com

American politicians, and Americans themselves, love to call themselves "a nation of immigrants": a place where everyone's family has, at some point, chosen to come to seek freedom or a better life.


America has managed to maintain that self-image through the forced migration of millions of African slaves, restrictive immigration laws based on fears of "inferior" races, and nativist movements that encouraged immigrants to assimilate or simply leave.

But while the reality of America's immigrant heritage is more complicated than the myth, it's still a fundamental truth of the country's history. It's impossible to understand the country today without knowing who's been kept out, who's been let in, and how they've been treated once they arrive.


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Debbie Lynch's curator insight, January 24, 4:16 PM

This is an interesting article about the immigration; forced or voluntary of American s. The maps are particularly interesting. They provide a visual reference for the article. 

Julia Hoffman's curator insight, January 25, 10:50 PM

This website is fantastic! The fifth map highlighted on the page is very interactive and shows immigration trends over the course of the past 100 years. All of these maps show varying immigration trends. They would fit well with our reporting standard regarding being able to interpret maps.

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Google, Khan Academy join in student privacy pledge | Hayley Tsukayama | WashPost.com

Google, Khan Academy join in student privacy pledge | Hayley Tsukayama | WashPost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Fifteen more companies, including Google and the YouTube-based educational organization Khan Academy, have signed on to a pledge to protect student privacy. The pledge was highlighted in a speech by President Obama last week, in which he also said he will introduce legislation to protect data collected in the classroom.

The two companies, both major players in education technology, are among second wave of 15 that signed on to the pledge Monday; 75 signed the agreement last week. The document holds companies to several data privacy tenets, including promises not to sell student information or to use behaviorally targeted advertising on education products. It also promises to make it easy for parents to see their students' data and to be transparent about how those data are collected and used.

Major education technology firms including Apple, Microsoft and textbook publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt were among those that signed on ahead of the president's speech. The move was hailed by privacy advocates, but many commented on the fact that Google and Amazon were conspicuously absent from the list.

Obama encouraged all firms to join the pledge -- a project of the Future of Privacy Forum and The Software & Information Industry Association -- and said the government will "make sure" parents knew which companies had not signed. In the same speech, the president said he would put forth a legislative proposal to ensure information collected through the classroom is only used for educational purposes.


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A Visit to the Forgotten Volcano That Once Turned Europe Dark | Alexandra Witze and Jeff Kanipe | WIRED

A Visit to the Forgotten Volcano That Once Turned Europe Dark | Alexandra Witze and Jeff Kanipe | WIRED | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it
Laki Today: Life in the mountain’s shadow

If you want to visit the craters of Laki, the first thing you need is a proper vehicle. F206, the overland path that leads from the heavily travelled ring road north toward Laki, is one of Iceland’s infamous ‘F roads’ — unpaved dirt tracks that sometimes vanish altogether over lava highlands or under roaring rivers. For this kind of terrain, a rental car just won’t do. You need someone like Trausti Ísleifsson and his jacked-up four-wheel-drive van. Trausti and his brother Gudmann run an adventure company in [the nearby town of] Klaustur, and they unhesitatingly agree to take us to the Laki craters even though we are visiting at a time — mid-June — when the F206 track is often still buried by the winter snows. Fortunately, the spring of 2012 is warm enough to clear a path to the craters. So right after breakfast on a Wednesday morning, Trausti rolls his white van on its massive knobbly tires up to the front door of our hotel. He is the quintessential Icelandic tour guide: tall, blond, with flawless English, and kitted out in rugged and expensive-looking outdoor gear. We are his only passengers.

Laki is just thirty-five kilometers from Klaustur as the crow flies, but getting there and back is a lengthy affair. On a drizzly cloudy morning we start by driving about six kilometers west from town, through an eerie hummocky wasteland. What look like soft pillowy forms are actually hard black rocks carpeted by pale green and gray arctic moss. They are the cooled remains of lava from the eruption of 1783–84. The strange lumps stretch on both sides of the ring road, for nearly as far as the eye can see. Forever useless to farmers, this land is now home only to birds.

As we turn off the ring road onto F206, Trausti pulls over the van to let air out of the monster tires. As we start rolling again, we immediately see the wisdom of this move. The road is unpaved and boulder-strewn, beset with axle-breaking potholes, and the lower tire pressure allows us to navigate the obstacles better. This early in the season, hardly anyone is on the road except us and one unfortunate-looking Subaru sedan that creeps along, scraping its underside on the rough track. We pass it, wondering what it will do when it encounters the swiftly flowing rivers. Trausti, of course, barrels through fearlessly with just enough clearance under his van. He even halts halfway into the river to dip his water bottle into the icy, clear meltwater. “You won’t taste anything better,” he tells us.


The landscape is classic Iceland: rolling fields of black lava misted with the green of low-growing tundra plants. Pockets of lingering snow nestle into the sides of hills and ridges, and from time to time we spot the massive bank of ice that is the Vatnajökull ice cap glowering in the distance. Out here, the only sign of civilization is a single blue sign marking the entrance to Vatnajökull National Park, one of the country’s three national parks and the biggest in all of Europe.


A ceiling of gloomy clouds extends from horizon to horizon, but even those can’t dampen our mood as, an hour and a half after turning onto the track, we finally approach Mount Laki itself. As if on cue, two whooper swans, startled by the van’s sudden appearance, take wing. Nothing except them and the clouds seems to be moving out here.


Then Trausti points ahead. After all the anticipation, our first glimpse of Mount Laki is a little less than impressive. It’s just another black ridge of rock among other black rocks. Like many of Iceland’s mountains, it formed in a subglacial eruption in the distant past when magma erupted under ice, cooling quickly and turning to rock. Today Mount Laki is a craggy, weathered mound with an elevation of 818 metres, comparable to other peaks in the region. But we’re here because the mountain sits smack in the middle of the volcanic fissures we came to explore. If you want to see the crater row, this is where you begin.


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Why Free Community College Won’t Equalize Higher Ed | Tomiko Brown-Nagin | The Weekly Wonk | NAF.org

Why Free Community College Won’t Equalize Higher Ed | Tomiko Brown-Nagin | The Weekly Wonk | NAF.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

At first listen, it sounds like a great idea in service of a worthy goal: free community college for all Americans to expand higher education access. It is a worthy goal, and there’s no doubt that President Obama’s recently announced proposal to subsidize tuition at community colleges would pry open the doors of higher education to lower-income students.

And yet – this solution treats the symptoms – rather than the root cause – of the issue at hand.


The basic problem with this proposal is that community college subsidies and an earlier-proposed federal ratings system will not challenge the structural inequalities in higher education.


Though many more lower-income students would be able to afford an education, the Obama administration’s community college proposal would also reinforce our already two-tiered and unequal system.

Here’s why.


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Aerodrums bring your air drumming to life | Loz Blain | GizMag.com

Aerodrums bring your air drumming to life | Loz Blain | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

This astonishing piece of motion tracking software watches you play air drums, and translates what you're doing into a MIDI signal in real time. It's a simple enough idea, but the execution works astonishingly well – making Aerodrums the most portable drum kit I've ever seen!

The drums section of the NAMM music expo could easily qualify as a new circle of hell. It's absolute chaos. But deep within this maddening cacophony, I found a fascinating piece of technology that's worthy of note.

Aerodrums is more or less a drumset without the drums. You sit down with special reflective panels on your shoes and a pair of sticks with reflective mallet-like tips, and proceed to rock out on the air drums.


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Apple may be designing an iPad stylus. That’s not such a bad idea. | Hayley Tsukayama | WashPost.com

Apple may be designing an iPad stylus. That’s not such a bad idea. | Hayley Tsukayama | WashPost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

I have a confession to make: I don't hate the stylus.

That may make me unusual, particularly as a tech writer. But I love pen and paper, still take most of my notes by hand, and I haven't found a solution that's let me completely ditch my trusty legal pad and cheap ballpoint pen.

So new speculation that Apple may be considering introducing a stylus as an accessory to its rumored 12.9-inch iPad Pro has me very interested. The rumor comes via KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who -- as Apple Insider notes -- has a very good track record with Apple rumors. Apple declined to comment.

A stylus would be out of character for Apple, especially considering that its late chief executive Steve Jobs absolutely hated them. It was one of his common arguments for killing the handheld Newton, per Walter Isaacson's 2011 biography of Jobs, because extra pens simple weren't needed in the age of the touchscreen:

"God gave us ten styluses," he would say, waving his fingers. "Let's not invent another."

Generally speaking, he was right: the current stylus is mainly a clunky throwback to the Palm Pilot era. There are a few standouts in the cottage industry of iPad styluses (styli?) that have sprung up for artists, but for the rest of us, using such accessories is still a fairly infuriating affair.

Which is too bad, because modern note-taking is a mess. Admittedly, this is a big problem for me, given what I do for a living. Note-taking is currently split between the traditional and the high-tech. Some important notes we type, whether by e-mail or through something by Google Docs. Others we jot down on paper and palms in meetings or on the backs of napkins when things move too quickly to fumble with a lock code or -- heaven forbid! -- a laptop. In an ideal world, you'd be able to write or doodle straight on your tablet without thinking, and then send those notes somewhere that lets you easily keep all of it together. To do that now, you'd have to type all of your handwritten into an appropriate notes folder. Who has time for that?

That's the promise of a stylus, or at least of digital handwritten notes. (I don't know how nimble your fingers are, but while mine are good enough for navigating buttons a la the Newton, I couldn't write a whole page of legible notes with my fingertip.)


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Making Sense of Words That Don't | Kelli Sandman-Hurley Blog | Edutopia.oeg

Making Sense of Words That Don't | Kelli Sandman-Hurley Blog | Edutopia.oeg | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Sight words. Demon words. Red words. Irregular words. Maverick words. There is a lot of instructional time spent teaching students to memorize words that do not seem to "play fair" or are just plain crazy. What would you think if I told you there was a way to teach the sense for what has been long taught as nonsensical? Would you read on?

For the purposes of this post, I'll define a sight word as a word that does not have a readily obvious sound-to-symbol correlation. The fact is that our written language is morphophonemic, which means we cannot pronounce a word until we know what phonemes the graphemes are representing within a morpheme, and we must consider the history (etymology) of the word. So if you look deeper, you will see that these words are perfectly sensible. You just have to know how to find the sense.


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Gamification Does Not Mean Playing Games | ExitTicket.org

Gamification Does Not Mean Playing Games | ExitTicket.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Gamification is less about games than it is about a fun-filled incentivization program. Happy hour is a great example of gamification: By setting up a reward of discounted drinks, patrons will voluntarily modify their behavior and show up at a designated time. Playing an educational game, on the other hand, is an entirely different concept. As confusion about this concept persists, I decided to delve into the topic and check in on some of the leaders of gamification.

In one of my last post about gamification, I mentioned an incredible TED Talk that still serves as the best primer on the principles of effective gamification. It’s hard to appreciate that a small, virtual prize can prevent more disciplinary problems than a detention slip can resolve, but it’s true. And the increasing presence of technology in our classrooms is allowing teachers to recognize accomplishments in new and easier ways.


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Julia Hoffman's curator insight, January 25, 10:54 PM

The potential this site will have over the coming years is incredible. The premise is that many skills can be taught through games. This particular article references two game programs that I would like to check in to. One is ExitTicket and the other is called Classcraft. In addition, there is a link to some background on using games through a TED Talk video.

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An Ingenious New Typeface Inspired by Old Maps, But Made With Algorithms | Margaret Rhodes | WIRED

An Ingenious New Typeface Inspired by Old Maps, But Made With Algorithms | Margaret Rhodes | WIRED | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Fonts may live in our computers, but every outline of every letter, number, and symbol in a typeface is originally crafted by human hand. In the 1800s this happened via a copper plate engraving technique that allowed designers to create extravagant letters by hand, lending a uniqueness to maps and books of the time. These days, typographers use type design software, where letters show up as plotted coordinates that can be painstakingly tweaked in infinitesimal ways—nips and tucks that make, say, Baskerville distinct from Cambria.

“Typeface design doesn’t have rapid prototyping,” says designer Jonathan Hoefler, whose type foundry Hoefler & Co. is behind go-to fonts like Gotham, Gestalt and—yes—Hoefler. But to be sold globally, modern fonts can require more than 600 characters, to cover every language. That means designers hand-tuning individual vectors face a lot of demands. Now imagine creating those 600-and-more characters, but for an ornamental font, where vectors don’t only determine the curves of a “S,” but the three-dimensionality and lighting too.


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Chandra Celebrates the International Year of Light | NASA.gov

Chandra Celebrates the International Year of Light | NASA.gov | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The year of 2015 has been declared the International Year of Light (IYL) by the United Nations. Organizations, institutions, and individuals involved in the science and applications of light will be joining together for this yearlong celebration to help spread the word about the wonders of light.

In many ways, astronomy uses the science of light. By building telescopes that can detect light in its many forms, from radio waves on one end of the “electromagnetic spectrum” to gamma rays on the other, scientists can get a better understanding of the processes at work in the Universe.

NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory explores the Universe in X-rays, a high-energy form of light. By studying X-ray data and comparing them with observations in other types of light, scientists can develop a better understanding of objects likes stars and galaxies that generate temperatures of millions of degrees and produce X-rays.

To recognize the start of IYL, the Chandra X-ray Center is releasing a set of images that combine data from telescopes tuned to different wavelengths of light. From a distant galaxy to the relatively nearby debris field of an exploded star, these images demonstrate the myriad ways that information about the Universe is communicated to us through light.

The images, beginning at the upper left and moving clockwise, are:


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Curbed Features: Meet the Black Architect Who Designed Duke University 37 Years Before He Could Have Attended It | Rachel Doyle | Yahoo!

Curbed Features: Meet the Black Architect Who Designed Duke University 37 Years Before He Could Have Attended It | Rachel Doyle | Yahoo! | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

In 1902, when Julian F. Abele graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in architecture, he was the school's first-ever black graduate. The debonair Philadelphia-born architect went on to design hundreds of elegant public institutions, Gilded Age mansions, and huge swathes of a prestigious then-whites-only university's campus. Yet the fact that an African-American architect worked on so many significant Beaux Arts-inspired buildings along the East Coast was virtually unknown until a political protest at Duke, the very university whose gracious campus he largely designed, was held in 1986.

Abele's contributions were not exactly hidden—during that era it was not customary to sign one's own designs— but neither were they publicized. When he died in 1950, after more than four decades as the chief designer at the prolific Philadelphia-based firm of Horace Trumbauer, very few people outside of local architectural circles were familiar with his name or his work. In 1942, when the long-practicing architect finally gained entry to the American Institute of Architects, the director of Philadelphia's Museum of Art, a building which Abele helped conceive in a classical Greek style, called him "one of the most sensitive designers anywhere in America."

The protests at Duke that ended up reviving his reputation had nothing to do with Abele's undeserved obscurity; they were protests against the racist regime in apartheid South Africa. Duke students were infuriated by the school's investments in the country, and built shanties in front of the university's winsome stone chapel, which was modeled after England's Canterbury Cathedral. One student (perhaps majoring in missing the point) wrote an editorial for the college paper complaining about the shacks, which she said violated "our rights as students to a beautiful campus."

Unbeknownst to even the university's administrators, Julian F. Abele's great-grandniece was a sophomore at the college in Durham, North Carolina. Knowing full well that her relative had designed the institution's neo-Gothic west campus and unified its Georgian east campus, Susan Cook wrote into the student newspaper contending that Abele would have supported the divestment rally in front of his beautiful chapel. Her great grand-uncle, who in addition to the chapel designed Duke's library, football stadium, gym, medical school, religion school, hospital, and faculty houses, "was a victim of apartheid in this country" yet the university itself was an example "of what a black man can create given the opportunity," she wrote. Cook asserted that Abele had created their splendid campus, but had never set foot on it due to the Jim Crow laws of the segregated South.


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Fox 'News' And Bill O'Reilly Get Hammered By High School Students For Their Lack Of Journalistic Ethics | Stephen Foster | Addicting Info

Fox 'News' And Bill O'Reilly Get Hammered By High School Students For Their Lack Of Journalistic Ethics | Stephen Foster | Addicting Info | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

A high school class in Vermont decided to study and break down a Fox “News” segment presented by Bill O’Reilly, and then they made a video to report the results they found. Hint: Fox “News” and O’Reilly get totally owned.

A group of students at Mount Anthony Union High School, in Bennington, Vermont, decided to make Fox “News” and O’Reilly the subjects of study while learning about journalism in class. They made this decision after O’Reilly sent his media goon, Jesse Waters, to their city in an effort to discover the most liberal state in America and antagonize the residents who live there.

Needless to say, the hit piece basically insulted the townspeople on national television, so the high school students fought back by dissecting the segment to find out how many journalistic ethics the conservative network broke in the process.

According to News Corpse, the students conducted a “professional integrity audit” based on the ethics codes of the Society of Professional Journalists.”

One by one, the students shredded Fox for each violation they discovered. As a result of their research, the students found that Fox “News” and O’Reilly violate an alarming number of ethics codes.


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5 Reasons to Use Gamification in E-Learning | Origin Learning | A Learning Solutions Blog

5 Reasons to Use Gamification in E-Learning | Origin Learning | A Learning Solutions Blog | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

From a very tender age, we are exposed to games: Chess, Monopoly, Scotland Yard… And that is for a reason, because games make learning not seem like ‘learning’. Our mind inputs far more concentration and participation in a game rather than something we are otherwise taught.


As we grow up, such informal learning is replaced with a more structured, more formal way of instruction – the effectiveness of which has been questioned time and again.


Thankfully, with the introduction of high-end gamification in learning, we now have back what was lost being a child – a powerful medium of learning in the adult, corporate world.


Interactive games that resemble real work roles or use simulation to immerse the learner in a life like environment have a number of advantages to the organization:


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Debbie Lynch's curator insight, January 24, 4:09 PM

an iteresting approach to connecting games and learning. I'm not quite sure if I agree with it but it definitely incorporates technology into learning. Just another example of the never ending influence technology has on learning and cognitive development.

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President Obama champions families, education, workers | Felix Perez | NEA.org

President Obama champions families, education, workers | Felix Perez | NEA.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

President Barack Obama used his State of the Union last night to lay out a forward-looking agenda that focuses on American families, students and workers struggling to gain a foothold and access opportunity in a strengthening economy. The president emphasized the vital role the nation’s schools play in bridging a persistent economic disparity gap.

Obama spoke about a number of proposals that, he remarked, “restore the link between hard work and growing opportunity for every American” and provide “more ways to help families get ahead.”

Said Obama:

At every moment of economic change throughout our history, this country has taken bold action to adapt to new circumstances, and to make sure everyone gets a fair shot. We set up worker protections, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid to protect ourselves from the harshest adversity. We gave our citizens schools and colleges, infrastructure and the internet — tools they needed to go as far as their effort will take them.

Among the initiatives President Obama addressed were:


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College Claims Copyright On 16th Century Michelangelo Sculpture, Blocks 3D Printing Files | Mike Masnick | Techdirt

College Claims Copyright On 16th Century Michelangelo Sculpture, Blocks 3D Printing Files | Mike Masnick | Techdirt | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

For many years we've been warning that intellectual property wars over things like music and movies were just a preview to the sort of insanity that would come about when 3D printing goes mainstream. We've seen some copyright takedowns of 3D printed objects in the past, but here's an absolutely crazy one.

Jerry Fisher, a photographer in Sioux Falls South Dakota, was interested in 3D printing and 3D image capture. So he went and photographed two local bronze casts of Michelangelo statues, one of Moses which is on display at Augustana College and is co-owned by Augustana and the City of Sioux Falls, and another of David, which is in a local city park. He documented his efforts to take the photos and turn them into 3D printer plans. However, the folks at Augustana College demanded that he stop, arguing a bizarre mix of copyright and... "we don't like this." Fisher asked the city of Sioux Falls for its opinion and got back a ridiculous response:


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Black People Willing Themselves into the Future, The Growing Popularity of Afrofuturism | Afro Boho Snob

Black People Willing Themselves into the Future, The Growing Popularity of Afrofuturism | Afro Boho Snob | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Lately there has been so much discourse across the interwebs about Afrofuturism. Until a couple of years ago, I had never heard the word Afrofuturism but in the context of current racial strife and marginalization of Black people and Black culture, or as Azealia Banks boldly called it, "cultural smudging", it seems to be a concept that is more prescient than ever.

Just what is Afrofuturism?

If I could distill it down to plain terms, Afrofuturism is a conscious movement by writers, creators, musicians, visual artists, and art curators to make sure that Black people have a place in futuristic imaginative worlds in lierature and art, but incorporating Black aesthetic and history while doing so. Essentially, it is a movement willing Black people into the future through our own lens.

The Progenitors of Afrofuturism

Many credit writer Mark Dery with coining the term Afrofuturism in his 1993 essay Black to the Future: Interviews with Samuel Delaney, Greg Tate and Tricia Rose:

“African-Americans are, in a very real sense, the descendants of alien abductees. They inhabit a sci-fi nightmare in which unseen but no less impassable force fields of intolerance frustrate their movements; official histories undo what has been done to them; and technology, be it branding, forced sterilization, the Tuskegee experiment, or tasers, is too often brought to bear on black bodies.”

— Mark Dery, Black to the Future


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Tech industry may gain from Obama’s free tuition plan | Patrick Thibodeau | NetworkWorld.com

Tech industry may gain from Obama’s free tuition plan | Patrick Thibodeau | NetworkWorld.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Seminole State College in Sanford Fla., near Orlando, graduates about 70 students annually with two-year degrees in its programming and networking programs. Local tech firms have helped to shape the college's courses.

The college's IT curriculum is guided by an advisory board of 39 firms, including representatives from Cisco, Siemens, Sprint and Lockheed-Martin. It "means they know that our students have the skills that they need," said Lenny Portelli, associate dean of Information Technology Seminole.

"If they go through two years with us, they'll get a job," Portelli said.

President Barack Obama's focus in his State of Union speech Tuesday was on improving the skills of U.S. workers, mainly through free tuition at community colleges for students who maintain a 2.5 grade-point average. "In a 21st century economy that rewards knowledge like never before, we need to do more," said Obama, in calling for free tuition.

Making tuition free may increase the number of students who enroll in Seminole's IT program, according to Portelli. He said that about 30% of the two-year graduates go on for a four-year degree.

A leading tech industry group, CompTIA, is supporting the community college tuition initiative, and believes it will help IT firms.


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Gamification: How to use Game Dynamics in Learning | Julian Stodd's Blog

Gamification: How to use Game Dynamics in Learning | Julian Stodd's Blog | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

There’s a family story that i once threw a Monopoly board across the room rather than accept defeat. I’m not sure i remember it quite that way, but i do know that the battered box is relegated to the cupboard these days and holidays are more tranquil for it. The current game of choice is Scrabble, played, for preference, in the pub, on a Sunday afternoon, with friends. Or xBox, challenges on long evenings, defeating hordes of aliens and saving the world before the pizza arrives. You’re welcome.

Games capture and hold our attention in ways that have guaranteed organisations will take an interest. This engagement is the ultimate goal of learning and if it can be achieved through subterfuge, so be it. The pervasive rise of so called ‘gamification‘ (20 points, or more if you can hit the Double Word score. although not permitted by the official Scrabble dictionary) reflects this quest.

But for every game i play, dozens lie unwanted and unused under the sofa or relegated to the dusty shelves of charity shops. Why? Because they lack a certain something: they fail to deliver the promised smiles and laughs shown on the faded box. They fail to entertain.

Entertainment is, of course, one thing, but effectiveness is quite another. In the organisational world, we may want to entertain, but underneath it, we want to encourage learning, to effect change.

To do so requires an understanding, not of the entertainment provided by games, but rather of the underlying mechanics that power them. If we want to use game dynamics with any effect, to be effective, we need to move beyond simply copying the outward trappings of games, the scoreboards and badges, and we must explore the behaviours that they utilise and trigger, then understand how that can feed into the journey of learning.


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Peggy Charren, Children’s TV Crusader, Dies at 86 | Bruce Weber | NYTimes.com

Peggy Charren, Children’s TV Crusader, Dies at 86 | Bruce Weber | NYTimes.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Peggy Charren, whose advocacy of higher-minded television programming for children took the issue to government agencies and the halls of Congress and led to landmark legislation, died on Thursday at her home in Dedham, Mass. She was 86.

The precise cause was uncertain, but she had had vascular dementia for many years, her daughter Deborah Charren said.

An inveterate cajoler, persuader, petitioner, testifier, public speaker and letter writer, Ms. Charren was “the principal defender of children’s television in America” and “a conscience sitting on the shoulder of every commercial broadcaster,” Senator Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat and a longtime friend of Ms. Charren’s, told The Boston Globe after her death.

She took up her crusade in the 1960s, when she was rearing two young daughters in a Boston suburb and was frustrated by what she saw on television for them — rampant advertising for toys and sugary cereals and, as she once put it, “wall-to-wall monster cartoons.”

Ms. Charren, an art and literature lover who had operated a gallery and run a business that held book fairs for children, was a founder and president of Action for Children’s Television, or ACT, whose first meeting was held in her Newton living room in 1968.

Seizing on a clause in the Federal Communications Act of 1934 that assigned broadcasters on the public airways a responsibility to tend to the public interest, ACT set about raising money and became a grass-roots force for change. The organization began pestering lawmakers, regulatory agencies and broadcast corporations to help educate children and not pander to them — to treat them as future contributors to society and not as just another consumer market.


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